New group addresses public safety concerns in Wilmington

In Governor Jack Markell’s state of the state address, he presented ideas for stopping Wilmington’s violence issues.


As the City of Wilmington implement initiatives and programs aimed at getting a handle on the sudden spike in gun violence, Gov. Jack Markell introduces a new group that could help as well.

“For too long, the City has had a significant problem with violent crime. Other cities have reduced their crime rates, and Wilmington can too,” Markell said.

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It’s called the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission. The group will be challenged to review and examine various public safety strategies and make recommendations that address the violent crime problem in the city. The Commission was established by House Joint Resolution No. 2, which passed the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor on January 29, 2015.

“We must do more to ensure we take the most effective approach to fighting crime. I very much appreciate the commitment of all the members of the Commission and the leadership of Lew Schiliro and Joe Bryant to fulfill that mission,” said Markell who announced the membership and meeting schedule.

Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission Members

The Commission will be lead by Lew Schiliro, Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, and Joseph Bryant, Jr., Director of Public Safety for New Castle County. Additional members of the Commission are as follows:

• Chief Bobby Cummings of the Wilmington Police Department• State Prosecutor Kathy Jennings of the Attorney General’s Office• Governor Markell’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Fennell• City resident Cassandra Marshall, Pres. of the Quaker Hill Neighborhood Association• City resident Darryl Chambers, a researcher at the Univ. of Delaware’s Center for Drugs and Health Studies• James Wright, a retired officer of the Wilmington Police Department.• Rick Gessner, VP and Delaware Market Liaison at Capital One, representing the Wilmington business community

“This is not easy, but we have a very capable commission and leading national experts helping us with this work. The Governor has made clear that crime in the City of Wilmington is a problem for everyone in Delaware, and I know all of us are committed to solutions,” Schiliro said.

The Department of Safety and Homeland Security has hired two leading public safety consultants which includes the Police Foundation of Washington, D.C. and Vigilant Resources International of New York to assist the Commission in its work.

The Commission’s first meeting will take place 5:30 p.m. at the Walnut Street YMCA on Tuesday, February 10. According to officials, the schedule for future meetings will be discussed there as well.

“This Commission can be a part of the solution and I look forward to listening to the community, to police officers, and to businesses on how we can improve public safety in the City,” Bryant said.

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